Skip to main content

How many verb tenses are there in English? - Anna Ananichuk

856,305 Views

34,276 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

How many different verb tenses are there in a language like English? At first, the answer seems obvious — there’s past, present, and future. But it isn't quite that simple. Anna Ananichuk explains how thanks to something called grammatical aspect, each of those time periods actually divides further.

Perfect aspect in English is mostly used to describe actions that:

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Anna Ananichuk
  • Director Luke Rotzler
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Sound Designer Sam Bair
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen

More from The Writer's Workshop